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Apple has announced a buy-out of streaming music site Lala, which could prompt integrating a similar service with iTunes in the near future.

The US-based website allows users to stream music from an online music catalogue without the irritation of advertisements interrupting your listening.



Currently streaming a track once is free, while unlimited streams cost around ten cents (7p). Downloading a stream-only version of a song will cost you ten cents (7p) and an entire album just a dollar (60p).

The company which initially started out as a CD swapping service, already has the backing of major record labels which should be music to the ears of Apple execs.

While we draw our own conclusions over reasons for the acquisition, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plan."

Spotify currently dominates streaming music proceedings in the UK, while MySpace Music received its UK launch earlier this week.

Launching an iTunes streaming music service does makes a lot of business sense, and if Apple managed to make it ad-free as well, it would only strengthen its already dominant position in the online music market.

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